Eric Staal’s two-goal performance leads Wild past Senators

Chris Stewart scored his eighth goal of the season to help the Minnesota Wild defeat the Ottawa Senators.

OTTAWA — For the first 30 minutes Tuesday it looked as though they Ottawa Senators were going to build on their modest two-game winning streak and the emotional 3-0 win Saturday over the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL 100 Classic outdoor game.

It wasn’t the case though as the Minnesota Wild overcame a 3-1 deficit midway through the second period and went on to a 6-4 win over the Senators.

Eric Staal had two goals, Nate Prosser had a goal and an assist and Minnesota snapped a two-game losing streak. After Prosser scored less than two minutes into the third Jonas Brodin‘s goal at 4:57 of the third period proved to be the winner for the Wild (18-13-3), who also got goals from Chris Stewart and Mikko Koivu.

Staal made it 6-3 and Derick Brassard pulled the Senators to within two at 18:34.

"I don’t think we played poorly. I think they did a good job for long periods grinding us down and we got tired," said Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson, who had two goals. "Sometimes when you get tired you make the wrong decision and we couldn’t find an answer to push back."

Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Senators (11-14-7). Craig Anderson made 34 saves but it wasn’t enough to extend their winning streak to three games.

The Wild also got a 28-save performance from Alex Stalock, including one point blank off a one-timer from Bobby Ryan seconds after the Wild took a 4-3 lead.

"We kind of felt our confidence build up. We were down 3-1 and our bench didn’t get down. Guys were building each other up and we got that next goal which was huge," Prosser said.

The Senators built a 3-1 lead in the opening six minutes of the second period but the Wild fought back with two goals of their own in the second half of the period to tie the game heading into the third.

Karlsson scored his second goal of the game at 1:08 of the period on the power play as he beat Stalock with a shot from the point.

Pageau gave the Senators a 3-1 at 5:44 following a no-look pass from behind the net by Tom Pyatt.

"I think we played two good first periods and when you go out to the third (basically) 0-0 against a good team at home you’re feeling good," Pageau said. "They played better than us in the third. They came out harder and it was little details that made the difference. Their goalie did an outstanding job and kept them in the game."

After Stewart got the Wild to within a goal at 3-2 just past the halfway point of the period, Stalock kept it a one goal game as he stopped Nate Thompson on a short-handed breakaway and then Pyatt on the rebound.

"It’s a save you need to make and lucky enough I was able to keep it out of the net," Stalock said. "I was lucky enough to find the rebound and I got to it. But those are the saves you have to make to win games sometimes."

Koivu then tied the game at 19:05 as he tipped a point shot from Ryan Suter past Anderson just as a penalty to Senators defenceman Cody Ceci had expired.

The teams each scored once in the opening period with Karlsson sending a point shot through Stalock who had two players screening him just 2:08 into the game.

The Wild got that one back at 11:11 when Suter took a shot that was going wide before hitting Stall in the midsection and redirecting though the legs of Anderson.

Notes: Gabriel Dumont and Ben Harpur were scratches for the Ottawa Senators Tuesday while Gustav Olofsson, Zack Mitchell and Devan Dubnyk were scratches for the Minnesota Wild … Senators forward Alex Burrows is one assist shy of 200 for his career … The Wild had killed 19 straight penalties before Erik Karlsson scored on the Senators’ first power-play attempt Tuesday … The Senators play their next three games on the road including Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Wild play the third of four straight on the road Friday against the Florida Panthers.


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